New TLDs

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A growing number of major brands are seriously leveraging their new TLDs, including .BNPPARIBAS, .CERN, .ABBOTT, .MONASH (and many others).

New TLDs / Recently Commented

Latest Regional Domain '.ASIA' to Launch in October

Regional top-level domain, ".asia" will be open to governments and trademark owners starting in October 2008. DotAsia Organization, the registry managing this new domain extension, is an organization made up of groups that run domain names for China, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam and other countries. The ".asia" initiative is intended to unify businesses and other users in the Asia-Pacific region. more

TLDs or No TLDs for Cities? Berlin Senate Wants Out

A fight has begun over the virtual existence of Germany's capital: Does a .berlin address space have a right to exist beside the old standby berlin.de? The outcome of the fight could have a broader effect on the future of city names on the Internet. After a recent hearing at Berlin's City Parliament, Michael Donnermeyer, speaker of the Berlin Senate, said the right to the name Berlin belonged to the city and has to be protected. For the young company dotBerlin GmbH that is applying for a new city top level domain (TLD) with the ICANN, the Senate's blockade could kill a long-nurtured project and could set a bad example for other initiatives like .london, .paris or .nyc, sources said. more

ICANN: Keep the Core Neutral, Stupid

ICANN's travelling circus is meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico this week. One of the main subjects of discussion has been the introduction of new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs), after a GNSO Report [PDF] proposed 19 "Recommendations" for criteria these new domain strings should meet -- including morality tests and "infringement" oppositions. ...It's important to keep ICANN from being a censor, or from straying beyond its narrow technical mandate. The thick process described in the GNSO report would be expensive, open to "hecklers' vetos," and deeply political... ICANN should aim for a "stupid core"... more

ICANN's 29th International Meeting Opens in San Juan

"The future of the Internet will be front and center as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) opens its 29th International Public Meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico on Monday, 25 June 2007," says the ICANN press release issued today. Discussion will include issues such as new top-level domains and internationalized domain names. more

Domain Name Registrations Reach 128 Million, 31 Percent Increase from Previous Year

VeriSign today released the VeriSign Domain Name Industry Brief for the first quarter of 2007. The brief, which highlights key industry data for worldwide domain name activity, reports that the total number of domain name registrations reached 128 million, representing a 31 percent increase over the same quarter in the previous year, and a 6 percent increase over the fourth quarter of 2006. From the report: "Registrants around the world registered 10.7 million new domain names in the first quarter of 2007. Coming off an extremely strong new registration rate..." more

Personal IE Domains Available Soon?

I've mentioned the topic of personal IE domains on here more than once in the past [also discussed here on CircleID] and in my conversations with the IE Domain Registry. Just to recap; Under the current rules you cannot register johndoe.ie if your name is John Doe. You would have to add a number to the name, thus rendering it totally useless eg. johndoe7.ie or something of that style... more

Security Through Obscurity as an Institution

One of my staff members pointed me to an article by Mikko Hyppönen in Foreign Policy. In this article Mikko argues that a new top level domain (TLD) like .bank for some reason would prevent on-line fraud, at least partially. Mikko seems to be arguing that with a dedicated TLD registry for financial institutions and a fee high enough to act as an entry barrier you would have a trustworthy bank domains that would be immune against today's phising attempts... more

Business 2.0 Does Front Page Story on the Most Powerful Unknown Domainer

Business 2.0 Magazine is running a front page story on Kevin Ham, considered as one of the most powerful "domainer", and how he has managed to build a $300 million empire using everything from domain tasting to typo-squatting the entire nation of Cameroon. From the article, "Ham's people installed a line of software, called a 'wildcard,' that reroutes traffic addressed to any .cm domain name that isn't registered. In the case of Cameroon, a country of 18 million..." more

Criminal Checks Needed for Domain Name Tasting, Kiting, Spying

International organisations should step in to prevent the "tasting," "kiting" and "spying" related to Internet domain names, say representatives from the US telecommunications and trademark industries. These new activities are dramatically altering online commerce and impacting legitimate businesses, and the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC), World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) should take action, they say. The US Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) had too many loopholes given the actual trends in the domain name secondary market, said Sarah Deutsch, vice president and associate general counsel for Verizon, and Marilyn Cade, former AT&T lobbyist and now consultant on Internet and technology issues... more

ICANN Releases Toolkit to Handle New TLDs

ICANN has released a toolkit for Web site designers and application developers to fix problems caused by recently added Internet addresses. Some Web sites and applications are rejecting addresses ending in newer Top-Level Domains such as ".mobi" or ".info," causing inconvenience for users. Many TLDs have been added in recent years to supplement ".com" and ".net," but some applications have not been updated to accommodate the changes, ICANN said. The work can be time-consuming for developers, it added. more

Another Top-Level Domain Price Rise: This Time It's .biz

Another week, another price increase in Internet addresses. This time, it's ".biz" whose fees are going up. In recent weeks, operators of ".com," ".net," ".org" and ".info" have announced increases beginning in mid-October in the wholesale prices for domain names -- what the operators collect from the companies that sell names on their behalf. ...Many of the announced hikes became possible when the ICANN agreed to new contract terms in December, permitting an annual hike of up to 10 percent a year upon six months' notice. more

China Slashes .CN Domain Price to 13 Cents

CHINA'S top Internet address registration agency has slashed the price of domain names ending with .cn to one yuan (13 US cents) a year in order to win users from the ".com" service, whose server is overseas.

The China Internet Network Information Center, or CNNIC, said the promotion is for the sake of national information security and to increase Internet use in the world's second-largest Web market. more

ICANN to Sue RegisterFly, Locks At-Risk Down Domains

ICANN plans to sue scandal-hit domain name registrar Registerfly.com tomorrow, saying the company is putting its customers' estimated 2 million domain names at risk.

And in an unprecedented move, ICANN has persuaded the four major generic top-level domain registries to lock down all RegisterFly's customers' domains for a month, so they cannot expire and then be hijacked by speculators or domain traffic monetization firms. more

When is a Typo Not a Typo?

I was reading about the Nieman Marcus lawsuit and on a phone call related to the "Working Group on Mechanisms to Protect Rights of Others", when suddenly it occurred to me that this whole rush to rid the world of typos could eventually head in a messy direction... How far can this go? Let me take you back to that phone call I was on where representatives of Yahoo indicated they would try to secure Flicker.XXX as a TYPO of Flickr.com (their made up brand name) during a potential new TLD sunrise period. How backward is that? A Typo that became a brand, trying to call the generic name a variant of their trademark! more

Dot-XXX and Tiered/Differential Pricing: Permitted?

As folks will recall, there was a big debate about tiered/differential pricing in the .biz/info/org contracts. Eventually those contracts were amended to prevent that. However, if folks read the .XXX proposed contractv [PDF], Appendix S, Part 2, under "delegated authority" (page 66 of the PDF), appears to give the Registry Operator total control to make policy regarding pricing. Thus, it would appear they are in a position to re-price domains that later become successful... more